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Clubs partner on drug, organ-donation effort

A pair of local civic organizations recently joined forces to reach out to Surry County students in promoting awareness of two major concerns: drug abuse and a lack of organ donations.

This involved a partnership between the Mount Airy Rotary Club and Mount Airy Kiwanis Club, along with a merger of Red Ribbon Week and Donate Life campaign activities.

National Red Ribbon Week, which ends today, focuses on encouraging young people to lead drug-free lives, while Donate Life highlights the need for the lifesaving gift of organ and tissue donation.

Donate Life activities normally are highlighted during a special observance each April. But because of COVID-19 curtailing activities last spring such as school assemblies, where that theme typically is highlighted, the Kiwanians and Rotarians did some improvising this year.

That led to the joint campaign being launched in recent days.

The Rotary Club provided red ribbons, red wristbands, red pens and red pencils in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week as part of a $10,000 allocation it designated to tackle the local opioid crisis.

This is a two-pronged initiative addressing both recovery and prevention, with the distribution of red ribbons and other materials targeting the latter.

Meanwhile, the Kiwanis Club funded green wristbands for local youths.

The effort included forms for both campaigns being given to students to sign pending discussions with their parents at home.

Beth Hinesley of an organization known as HonorBridge (formerly Carolina Donor Services) visited North Surry High School last Monday to band students and provide registration forms.

Hinesley later took bands and forms to the principal of Surry Early College High School of Design in conjunction with the Red Ribbon drug-prevention program during the week.

East Surry High School was another stop on Wednesday.

Students at Mount Airy and Surry Central high schools will be targeted during Donate Life events planned next April.

“The Donate Life awareness program and Red Ribbon drug-prevention programs will be very successful programs for the students in our high schools,” Rotary Club member Carol Burke said in a statement.



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